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Problem Statement

In this assignment, you will pick a particular development challenge to focus on in the country that you selected for your country report. We will work on identifying concrete problems in class, and the problem that you choose should be related to one of the six development challenges that we learn about in class: health, education, environment, agriculture, demography, or mobility.

All sources should be cited using Chicago author-date style. Be sure to include a full citation in a Works Cited section at the end of your paper and in-text citations every time you use the ideas of another author.

Part I: Problem research (40%)

In order to design an intervention that will effectively address the challenge that you selected, you will have to do some research about that problem. 

In addition, find at least four outside sources that talk about how this issue is being addressed in this country. At least one should be an academic source (peer-reviewed journal article or book from academic publishers) and one should be a policy source (high level publication from a think tank, international organization, NGO, government body, etc.).

Write 500-750 words about the challenge that the country is facing. Summarize what you find and how it relates to what we discussed in class. Try to identify a concrete problem in need of a solution that you could try to design for your grant proposal.

  • What is your country doing to combat the problem thus far, and what challenges still exist?
  • What is the magnitude of the problem? Is it pervasive across the country or a localized problem? What populations are most affected?
  • What factors contribute to the problem in the country-context that you are looking at?

Part II: Solutions research (40%)

Once you have identified a problem, the next step is to think about the factors that contribute to that problem, and how the problem has been addressed in other contexts. We will start thinking about this by looking at what interventions have been explored empirically. 

Look through the J-PAL archives of evaluations: https://www.povertyactionlab.org/evaluations (Links to an external site.). Search for interventions that have been tested in other contexts. This means searching by key word – not necessarily by country.

Pick four studies to write about. Write 500-750 words about the programs that were implemented and what strategies they used. What worked? What didn’t? To what extent do you think that the findings from these studies would transfer into the national/regional context where you want to apply an intervention?

Part III: Summary – Problem statement and map of determinants (20%)

Based on your reading above, in this part of the assignment, you should identify the following three things:

  1. Identify a challenge that your country is currently facing. Be as specific as possible in identifying the part of the problem that you want to focus on. Be sure to include some information on the magnitude of the problem as well. 
  2. What factors contribute to this problem? Think about determinants across different sectors: economic, social, political, biological, etc. and map out at least two causal chains that lead to the problem you plan to focus on.

Due in 72 hours, in total at least 1500 words (Citation doesn't count), Chicago format. All sources should be cited using Chicago author-date style. Be sure to include a full citation in a Works Cited section at the end of your paper and in-text citations every time you use the ideas of another author.

Details of Chicago format are available at http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org.du.idm.oclc.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-2.html